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Further information: Market orientation

The marketing orientation is perhaps the most common orientation used in contemporary marketing. It is a customer-centric approach that involves a firm basing its marketing program around products that suit new consumer tastes. Firms adopting a marketing orientation typically engage in extensive market research to gauge consumer desires, use R&D to develop a product attuned to the revealed information, and then utilize promotion techniques to ensure consumers are aware of the product’s existence and the benefits it can deliver.[31] Scales designed to measure a firm’s overall market orientation have been developed and found to be relatively robust in a variety of contexts.[32]

The marketing orientation often has three prime facets, which are:Customer orientation: A firm in the market economy can survive by producing goods that persons are willing and able to buy. Consequently, ascertaining consumer demand is vital for a firm‘s future viability and even existence as a going concern.Organizational orientation: In this sense, a firm’s marketing department is often seen as of prime importance within the functional level of an organization. Information from an organization’s marketing department would be used to guide the actions of other department’s within the firm. As an example, a marketing department could ascertain (via marketing research) that consumers desired a new type of product, or a new usage for an existing product. With this in mind, the marketing department would inform the R&D department to create a prototype of a product/service based on consumers’ new desires.The production department would then start to manufacture the product, while the marketing department would focus on the promotion, distribution, pricing, etc. of the product. Additionally, a firm’s finance department would be consulted, with respect to securing appropriate funding for the development, production and promotion of the product. Inter-departmental conflicts may occur, should a firm adhere to the marketing orientation. Production may oppose the installation, support and servicing of new capital stock, which may be needed to manufacture a new product. Finance may oppose the required capital expenditure, since it could undermine a healthy cash flow for the organization.Mutually beneficial exchange: In a transaction in the market economy, a firm gains revenue, which thus leads to more profits/market share/sales. A consumer on the other hand gains the satisfaction of a need/want, utility, reliability and value for money from the purchase of a product or service. As no-one has to buy goods from any one supplier in the market economy, firms must entice consumers to buy goods with contemporary marketing ideals